Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ana’s Guide to Not Being a Dick (Tourist Edition)

          Living in South County Rhode Island is peaceful for about 75% of the year. And for that 75% of the year, there’s pretty much nothing to do. So we Rhode Islanders look forward to summer so we can go to the beach, get a tan, and relax.

          But we can never really relax because the beaches get crowded with tourists. They nearly hit your car on the way there, they like to wear bathing suits that are too small, they bring their screaming children, and they usually don’t understand that the weather in New England can change dramatically with no warning.

          The worst kind of tourist we get is the “I’m from a big city” tourist.

          Let me set something straight about where I live: THIS IS A SMALL TOWN.

          You cannot drive the same way here as you do in New York. These houses aren’t for decoration. People live here. Don’t go speeding by houses, throwing your garbage into our yards, and leaving your shopping carts in the middle of aisles at supermarkets. If you have a shopping cart, take it down the aisle with you.

One of my friends goes to a house in Martha’s Vineyard every year, and tourists will sometimes wander onto people’s properties because they don’t think people actually live in the houses. Why would a house just be decoration?? Unless you see a sign that says it’s a museum, it isn’t a museum.

          I don’t even go to the store during the day in the summer. I wait until about 8:00 at night. Personally, I think there should be a special supermarket for tourists. That way, they can’t bother the locals.

          A few days ago, I was ranting about how much I hate tourists to my mom and she told me that one year there was a public service announcement that told the locals to stop being mean to the tourists. That’s how annoying they can be!

          Now, let’s look at New York for a minute. There are always tourists in New York.

          When I go to New York, I see the sights, go in a couple of tourist stores like the Hershey store, the M&M store, the giant Toys R Us with the ferris wheel, etc. I take some pictures, I eat some pizza and I get on the train and go home.

          And this is the problem; New Yorkers are used to tourists, but are not used to being tourists. Rhode Islanders are used to being tourists, but not used to having tourists in their town.

          So New Yorkers come here to use our beaches and forget that they have to pay attention to yield signs and speed limits and pedestrians.

          The nearest movie theater to my house is in Connecticut, so I’m basically a tourist whenever I want to go see a movie. But the way I look at it, Rhode Islanders aren’t tourists in Massachusetts or Connecticut because Rhode Island is so small and many of us go to Connecticut or Massachusetts on a semi-regular basis. And the only way to not be a tourist in New York is if you’ve lived there all your life.

          So, how can you go on vacation without being a total dick to all of the people that already live there?

1.            When you go shopping, less is more. You aren’t going to be living there forever. And if you do need a lot of things because you have some fucking babies or whatever, don’t just leave your loaded shopping cart wherever you want. Take that shit with you! Otherwise, you’re holding up the locals and creating a need for more PSAs.

2.            When you go to the beach, wear bathing suits that fit you. Being on vacation doesn’t mean you lost 70lbs. And if you’re a guy, don’t wear a speedo. I don’t care who you are, it isn’t a good idea.

3.            I’m sure you came here to relax and get away from the city and responsibility. That’s all fine, but if you’re going to drive around here, PAY ATTENTION. Obey yield signs, go the approximate speed limit, don’t act like an asshole in beach traffic, and don’t speed up when you see that someone is trying to get into the other lane. Do you know how many times I’ve missed my road because some asshole won’t let me get over? TOO MANY TIMES.

4.            If you live in a very popular tourist destination, such as New York City, know that we Rhode Islanders try very hard to walk quickly across crosswalks, and we only go when the little man shows up and the big orange hand goes away. Unless you have the right of way, please don’t try to run us over. We’re doing the best we can.

5.            If you ask a local where something is, prepare to be given the wrong directions. Tourists are almost never given accurate information.